OPINIONS. TRENDS. MEDIA ISSUES.
Volume 16, Issue 8
Marketers’ Bill of Rights
As has been well reported, the advertising industry was rocked in late 2015 by allegations of improper actions being taken with advertiser dollars, especially (but not limited to) the media investments being handled by large multi-national/holding companies.
This past June an investigation commissioned by the American Association of National Advertisers (ANA) validated much of what was a primary concern: agencies were not being fully transparent about the ways they were making money.
We’ve taken note of this.
As an independent media agency that has always aspired to the best practices in transparency (both relative to costs and data), we felt it was time to be clearly and publicly committed to a set of principles. Last month we issued a Client Bill of Rights as a set of promises to our current clients, and as an offering to prospective clients. We shared the document as well with our friends and colleagues in the industry, and have been overwhelmed by the positive response.
While many in the industry are already running their businesses in the spirit of these principles, the K9 report from the ANA and subsequent Ebiquity best practice recommendations have made it increasingly apparent to us that not all in our industry are willing to run their companies in a fully transparent way. Even the 4A’s guidelines on transparency issued this year have a certain opaqueness to them. So while our Client Bill of Rights still stands in its purpose, we have decided to develop a companion Marketer Bill of Rights.
This outward pivot of our client-facing set of principles is intended to be a helpful starting point for marketers and agencies in thinking about how they can define their relationships.
From the start of this effort, we have been clear that issues of transparency in cost and data in our industry are not easily solved. We are also not casting any specific allegations at any particular entity. We’re only being very clear about how we do business and how many other transparent mid-major agencies do business too.
Our Marketer’s Bill of Rights are found here on our site, and are also listed below in this Anvil. We think this is an important time in our industry for all “agencies” to clearly define our businesses.
We thank Business Insider for their coverage of this effort in their October 6 issue.
Bottom Line: What does the ANA/Ebiquity report say?
After reviewing the extensive content of the ANA/Ebiquity Report, Mike Drexler wrote an excellent article on “What the ANA Transparecy Report Really Tells US”. We thought you might find it helpful to review. Mike’s article first appeared July 28 in a Thought Leadership for Executives blog post on Media Village.
Data Ownership not Clear to Clients
While the ANA/Ebiquity report recommended advertiser data ownership relative to campaigns, it may not be practical to achieve right now. Our article, which ran in Digiday explores the issue.